When I evaluate someone’s chances of success, I look at their track record. And I look for one certain aspect of that track record. I will reveal that below.
Success in life and business – relationships, accomplishments, sports, wealth – is not dependent on education, class, connections, planning, good ideas, timing, or luck. Because even with all of these, there have to be decisions, commitment, and effort. And without persistence against the obstacles and roadblocks that we all face in life, the roadblocks that any endeavour or relationship will encounter, failure is certain. But most people quit, so what is the one thing that makes the difference between success and failure?
I think of my sister who lives in a wheelchair in a Retirement Home (actually, it’s an old age home, but many people today won’t even recognize that label because of the way our language has been shaped by Orwellian Newspeak.)
She is in constant pain and her physical state deteriorates constantly, the old age home is run by people – “Caregivers” – who hate the inmates because they’re White, the country (South Africa) is on its last legs, with rolling electricity blackout and water shortages because the power stations haven’t been maintained since Mandela took over in 1994… I could go on all day. YET she has a positive attitude and she makes the best of her life.
And before you jump to a confusion and suggest that the secret is attitude, it’s not that.
I think of a young man who has been in prison three times, who was a drug dealer and addicted first to heroin – which he overcame – then to Fentanyl – which he also overcame. He tells me it’s ten times harder to break an addiction to Fentanyl than to Heroin. He has an amazing attitude, he’s hard working, a good listener, and successful in his relationships and his work.
Then there’s Winston Churchill. Few people know much about him, how many times he cheated death, the obstacles he overcame, or what he accomplished. Watch this video for more information. Read the book. I did. He said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” Did you know that Churchill went into No Man’s Land on thirty occasions – when he didn’t have to? That is gallantry.
That is the quality I look for – a track record that reveals courage. That is what sets the winners apart from the whiners. That is what overcomes arrogance and surrender. Courage is what helped Viktor Frankl survive Auschwitz; read his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. It’s what made this woman survive the Ravensbrück death camp.
That’s what defines the champions. It makes them empathetic, patient and kind because it gives them confidence and focus. I look for courageous individuals in a world that is infected with gutless wonders who talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. Brave people tell the truth. They don’t compromise or appease, and they don’t depend on the acknowledgment or acceptance of others. They persist. They stand up for what they believe in, and they don’t quit. My Dad went on 83 bombing raids in 100 days during World War Two. The average lifespan for a gunner in one of those bombers was 5 raids. He was a true warrior throughout his life.
Finally, being a courageous mass murderer is not a good thing. One’s values should be a given, and if they are Christian values, Godly values, true success will come. My wife is the most valiant person I know. The picture above shows her and a fearless friend.